College

College: (n) an educational institution or establishment

 

I never went to college.

I have used numerous excuses and lies to disguise this fact:

  1. “Well, the experience I’ve had is very similar to going to college.”
  2. “I took a few courses but never enough for graduation. Maybe I should check into that.”

Or the outright lie:

  1. “I am a graduate of Xavier University.”

(My thought? Most people would not know how to spell Xavier and would not pursue further.)

All through my twenties I felt like a dog without a collar. You know–a mutt rolling around the town, and everybody knows he doesn’t have a purpose or an owner
because he has no tags.

Yes, without college I felt a sense of self-discrimination. I was so convinced that people were looking down on me that I looked down on myself.

Then one day I simply asked my inner soul, do you wish you had gone to college?

I immediately realized that everything I had experienced would be gone in deference to the collegiate adventure.

That would include a wife, two kids, a music group, albums and writing a book. The case could be made that I would have eventually done these anyway–just with more book learning.

But one day–I guess I was about thirty-three years old–someone asked the question about college and I responded, “I never went.”

I really felt that the Earth moved beneath my feet–that the sky was falling in to trap me. But nothing actually happened. The person who inquired was a little surprised, since she felt I was very adept at what I was doing. But we were quickly on to talking about whether potato salad was better with mayonnaise or Miracle Whip.

You see, you don’t have to go to college for those kinds of discussions. Just have a heart, an idea you believe in and a willingness to be wrong.

I have found this to be the definition of higher education.

 

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Collar

Collar: (n) a band of material around the neck of a shirt, dress, coat, or jacket

Feeling very comfortable with my interactions with a dear young lady, I explained to her that I preferred collarless shirts. She listened intently,
coming very close to feigning interest.

I explained that the collar rubbed against my neck–itched–and when I sweat, made my skin burn.

It was further aggravated if I inserted a tie into the shirt, needing to fasten that top button. She listened and listened. She even smiled a couple of times.

At the end of the conversation, when I felt I had thoroughly explained the reasons for my preference, she walked over and looked around my neck and said, “I don’t think the collar is your problem.”

I was stupefied. (Well, at least confused.)

I said, “Okay… What is my problem?”

“You just have a really, really dirty neck,” she said.

I was offended. I suppose there were other choices available to me, but fortunately, she stepped in and offered to wash my neck for me so I would understand that my skin was soiled and therefore overly sensitive.

So she got a sudsy washcloth and gently rubbed my neck until it was clean. I was embarrassed, enticed, curious, dumbfounded and a little turned on.

She finished washing my neck, dried it with a clean towel and put some lotion on it.

She was right.

I never had another problem wearing a shirt with a collar.

The only problem was scheduling the times for her to come and wash my neck.

 

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Bark

Bark: (n) the sharp explosive cry of certain animals, especially a dog.Dictionary B

Although it seems very noble to rescue an animal from a shelter, turning the creature into a pet, it is actually similar to seeking a bride by going to a mental hospital.

What they fail to tell you about “rescue dogs” is that often they’ve been abused, misused and further traumatized by being in kennels around belligerent animals who may not even allow them to eat.

I do not offer this as a critique of the process of trying to welcome these friends into our households.

I, too, went to a Rescue to get a dog. I wanted a mutt because my experience is that they are the more intelligent breeds. But not only was my dog abused, but came to my home sick–with fleas, ticks, and nearly died within the first 24 hours.

Yet no matter how much training I gave this pup, he had so much memory of mistreatment that he never quite learned to be…well, let us say, amicable. So every time somebody knocked at the door, he went into a barking fit and was overly aggressive to strangers.

It became a problem.

So we decided to buy one of those collars which lightly shocks the dog whenever he barks without permission. You place it around his neck, and you hold a remote in your hand which can inflict some minor pain on the animal if he begins to erupt with objection.

Well, I will tell you–it works.

It works in the sense that when my mentally ill dog started to bark and I pushed the button, he stopped.

He stopped barking and started whining.

Yes, his barking was replaced with whining.

I don’t have to go into much explanation here, do I? Which would you rather have–a yapping dog or a whimpering canine in pain?

Needless to say, I removed the collar and allowed the old fella to bark at his discretion until he passed away and went to Doggie Something-Or-Other.

To say that a dog’s bark is worse than his bite is to leave out the fact that anything that barks at you is intimidating. That goes for coyotes, rescue dogs … and contentious people.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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